I have asked and received permission to forward to you all this most
excellent bit of news.
The linguist list, is a most excellent resource for people interested in the
field of linguistics. As I mentioned some time ago they have had a funding
drive and in that funding drive they asked for a certain amount of money in
a given amount of days and they would then have a project on Wikipedia to
learn what needs doing to get better coverage for the field of linguistics.
What you will read in this mail that the total community of linguists are
asked to cooperate. I am really thrilled as it will also get us more
linguists interested in what we do. My hope is that a fraction will be
interested in the languages that they care for and help it become more
relevant. As a member of the "language prevention committee", I love to get
more knowledgeable people involved in our smaller projects. If it means that
we get more requests for more projects we will really feel embarrassed with
all the new projects we will have to approve because of the quality of the
Incubator content and the quality of the linguistic arguments why we should
approve yet another language :)
NB Is this not a really clever way of raising money; give us this much in
this time frame and we will then do this as a bonus...
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: LINGUIST Network <linguist(a)linguistlist.org>
Date: Jun 18, 2007 6:53 PM
Subject: 18.1831, All: Call for Participation: Wikipedia Volunteers
LINGUIST List: Vol-18-1831. Mon Jun 18 2007. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.
Subject: 18.1831, All: Call for Participation: Wikipedia Volunteers
Moderators: Anthony Aristar, Eastern Michigan U <aristar(a)linguistlist.org>
Helen Aristar-Dry, Eastern Michigan U <hdry(a)linguistlist.org>
Reviews: Laura Welcher, Rosetta Project
The LINGUIST List is funded by Eastern Michigan University,
and donations from subscribers and publishers.
Editor for this issue: Ann Sawyer <sawyer(a)linguistlist.org>
To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at
From: Hannah Morales < hannah(a)linguistlist.org >
Subject: Wikipedia Volunteers
-------------------------Message 1 ----------------------------------
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2007 12:49:35
From: Hannah Morales < hannah(a)linguistlist.org >
Subject: Wikipedia Volunteers
As you may recall, one of our Fund Drive 2007 campaigns was called the
"Wikipedia Update Vote." We asked our viewers to consider earmarking their
donations to organize an update project on linguistics entries in the
English-language Wikipedia. You can find more background information on this
The speed with which we met our goal, thanks to the interest and generosity
our readers, was a sure sign that the linguistics community was enthusiastic
about the idea. Now that summer is upon us, and some of you may have a bit
leisure time, we are hoping that you will be able to help us get started on
Wikipedia project. The LINGUIST List's role in this project is a purely
organizational one. We will:
*Help, with your input, to identify major gaps in the Wikipedia materials or
pages that need improvement;
*Compile a list of linguistics pages that Wikipedia editors have identified
"in need of attention from an expert on the subject" or " does not cite any
references or sources," etc;
*Send out periodical calls for volunteer contributors on specific topics or
*Provide simple instructions on how to upload your entries into Wikipedia;
*Keep track of our project Wikipedians;
*Keep track of revisions and new entries;
*Work with Wikimedia Foundation to publicize the linguistics community's
We hope you are as enthusiastic about this effort as we are. Just to help us
get started looking at Wikipedia more critically, and to easily identify an
needing improvement, we suggest that you take a look at the List of
Many people are not listed there; others need to have more facts and
added. If you would like to participate in this exciting update effort,
respond by sending an email to LINGUIST Editor Hannah Morales at
hannah(a)linguistlist.org, suggesting what your role might be or which
entries you feel should be updated or added. Some linguists who saw our
on the Internet have already written us with specific suggestions, which we
share with you soon.
This update project will take major time and effort on all our parts. The
result will be a much richer internet resource of information on the breadth
depth of the field of linguistics. Our efforts should also stimulate
students to consider studying linguistics and to educate a wider public on
we do. Please consider participating.
Editor, Wikipedia Update Project
Linguistic Field(s): Not Applicable
LINGUIST List: Vol-18-1831
There is a request for a Wikipedia in Ancient Greek. This request has so far
been denied. A lot of words have been used about it. Many people maintain
their positions and do not for whatever reason consider the arguments of
In my opinion their are a few roadblocks.
- Ancient Greek is an ancient language - the policy does not allow for
- Text in ancient Greek written today about contemporary subjects
require the reconstruction of Ancient Greek.
- it requires the use of existing words for concepts that did
not exist at the time when the language was alive
- neologisms will be needed to describe things that did not
exist at the time when the language was alive
- modern texts will not represent the language as it used to be
- Constructed and by inference reconstructed languages are effectively
We can change the policy if there are sufficient arguments, when we agree on
When a text is written in reconstructed ancient Greek, and when it is
clearly stated that it is NOT the ancient Greek of bygone days, it can be
obvious that it is a great tool to learn skills to read and write ancient
Greek but that it is in itself not Ancient Greek. Ancient Greek as a
language is ancient. I have had a word with people who are involved in the
working group that deals with the ISO-639, I have had a word with someone
from SIL and it is clear that a proposal for a code for "Ancient Greek
reconstructed" will be considered for the ISO-639-3. For the ISO-639-6 a
code is likely to be given because a clear use for this code can be given.
We can apply for a code and as it has a use bigger then Wikipedia alone it
clearly has merit.
With modern texts clearly labelled as distinct from the original language,
it will be obvious that innovations a writers needs for his writing are
This leaves the fact that constructed and reconstructed languages are not
permitted because of the notion that mother tongue users are required. In my
opinion, this has always been only a gesture to those people who are dead
set against any and all constructed languages. In the policies there is
something vague "*it must have a reasonable degree of recognition as
determined by discussion (this requirement is being discussed by the language
subcommittee <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_subcommittee>)."* It
is vague because even though the policy talks about a discussion, it is
killed off immediately by stating "The proposal has a sufficient number of
living native speakers to form a viable community and audience." In my
opinion, this discussion for criteria for the acceptance of constructed or
reconstructed languages has not happened. Proposals for objective criteria
have been ignored.
In essence, to be clear about it:
- We can get a code for reconstructed languages.
- We need to change the policy to allow for reconstructed and
We need to do both in order to move forward.
The proposal for objective criteria for constructed and reconstructed
languages is in a nutshell:
- The language must have an ISO-639-3 code
- We need full WMF localisation from the start
- The language must be sufficiently expressive for writing a modern
- The Incubator project must have sufficiently large articles that
demonstrate both the language and its ability to write about a wide range of
- A sufficiently large group of editors must be part of the Incubator
Dear All,Sorry for bringing up a possibly old and closed issue, but could
someone explain to me that why was the GFDL with a possible migration to
CC-BY-SA 3.0 or later[1[ chosen as the site license for the Hungarian (and
I guess some others as well, created at the same time) Wikinews?
Wasn't the CC-BY used by the older Wikinewses a deliberate decision to give
Wikinews an extra opennes and connectivity with other news outlets (I
personally see a bigger chance for some newsproducer agreeing to license
their work under either CC-BY or less likely CC-BY-SA than GFDL or even GFDL
with a possible migration)?
Is the current license compatible with Wikipedia (I am thinking that the
added migration clause makes the project incompatible with GFDL sites that
are not also double licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0 or later)?
As many of you know, the Foundation has an Audit Committee which
represents the Board in oversight of financial and accounting
issues, including planning, reporting, audits, and internal
controls (see http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Audit_committee
for details). The Committee typically serves for one year,
starting in May/June and ending a year later when the Foundation
files its annual tax return in the U.S. (the IRS Form 990). For
the past year, the committee has consisted of two Board members
(Michael Snow and me as Committee chair) and one long-serving and
incredibly helpful community member, Ad Huikeshoven. We've
recently started forming the 2009-2010 Audit Committee, and the
current team has generously agreed to serve another year.
We are keenly interested in increasing community participation.
The time commitment is modest, as far as Wikimedia goes: review
the Foundation's general financial practices and draft financial
statements/filings, and then participate in three or four
conference calls during the year with the staff and our
independent auditors, KPMG. The one requirement for membership
is "financial literacy", usually some kind of professional
experience with finance, accounting or audit.
If you're interested in serving on the Committee, please email us
at audit-l <at> lists.wikimedia.org and let us know how you think
you could contribute. Thanks.
Trustee & Board Treasurer
stu <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> <at> wikimedia.org
I would like to use this opportunity to say "Goodbye" to all of you,
because my involvement with Wikimedia is now coming to an end. I could
make this a long email, taking about my time here and giving my
opinion and advice about the state and future of the Wikimedia
movement, but I'd like to keep this fairly short and simple -- many of
you have already received epic emails from me, you don't need another
Suffice to say, that the slightly more than 5 years that I have now
been involved as non-anonymous participant in Wikipedia and Wikimedia
have been very interesting to say the least - certainly a personal
benefit for me, albeit one with ups and downs. In this comparably
short time span, I saw the foundation mature from a rather abstract
concept to a working and professionally staffed NGO with a broad
networks of chapters all around the globe and I have learnt a lot in
this process. I have thought long about whether I should remain
involved with Wikimedia (I originally only resigned from Wikimedia CH
because I am no longer in Switzerland since April and do not foresee
being there other than for vacation in the next couple of years), but
I decided in the end that I prefer a clear cut from everything, rather
than just somewhat reducing my activity, and this year being for me
personally the start of a new era anyways (new university, new country
of residence etc.), it seems quite fitting to move on and start new
pastimes, spend my time on new things.
The little formalities: My tenure with Wikimedia CH ends on Wednesday,
May 27th - my ChapCom and list admin positions end at the end of May
and in general, I am fine with having all my access privileges
(accounts on non-public wikis, list subscriptions etc.) removed or
closed per the end of May.
I wish you all the best -- from now on, I will again rely on what I
read about Wikimedia's fate in the media, albeit taking it with a
pinch of salt...
Probably, some of you already saw that Google made something for which
I think that it will be the new form of the mainstream Internet
perception. You may read Slashdot article , a good description at
the blog "Google Operating System"  (not officially connected with
Google) and, of course, you may see the official site with more than
one hour of presentation .
I expected such kind of tool (a client connected with others via P2P
XML-based protocol; with servers for identification). However, I
didn't expect that i will come so soon, that it will be done by one
large corporation and that it will be done at the right way: open
protocol, free software referent implementation.
At the official site they said that it will start to work during this
year. As one large corporation is behind the project, as well as free
and open source community is able to participate, I have no doubts
that it will be implemented all over the Internet (and not just
Internet) very quickly. Probably, in two years the basic component of
one modern operating system will not be a Web browser, but a Wave
client. Probably, Web will become a storage system, while all of the
interaction will be done via Waves.
This development of Internet is very strongly related to the Wikimedia projects:
* I want to be able to edit Wikipedia through the Wave client.
* I want to add my own notes to articles, history of articles etc.
* I want to have collection of my knowledge at one place, including
Wikipedia articles and my notes.
* I want to be able to make a program which would analyze articles on
Wikipedia and to give program and/or analysis to my friends.
* I want many more things to be browsable or editable or whatever from
a Wave client...
All of those my (but, in one year, not just my) wishes may be
fulfilled just through work on MediaWiki and Pywikipediabot. So, I am
calling all of you who are willing to think about it or who are at the
position to think about it -- to start with thinking :)
 - http://tech.slashdot.org/story/09/05/28/1912226/Googles-Wave-Blurs-Chat-Ema…
 - http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2009/05/google-wave.html
 - http://wave.google.com/
Given currently existing technology, and technology that we can reasonably
assume to be available within the next decade, how can the WMF best achieve
its goal of giving every person free access to our current best summary of
all human knowledge?
Consider that Google Translate has the best machine translation corpus,
consisting not only of the Internet but also all United Nations translations
and many other datasets. It is the closest existing thing to a Babelfish,
now supporting 41 languages and winning all translation competitions for
several years. It will continue to be the best for the foreseeable future.
Consider that 75% of the world is not online and that there may be a way to
beat market forces in the race to getting free Internet access to every
person by literally giving Wikipedia to every person instead, offline. Our
current micro-content distribution model would be sufficient if everyone had
access to the Internet. They don't so it's not.
Consider that the money the WMF could potentially raise through competitive
market forces (the OLPC way) may lag behind the money they can raise through
their idealistic goals, uncompromised values and principles, and smart
ideas. This money can be used to give copies of the entirety of Wikipedia
Consider that access to Wikipedia does not require readability proper
(beautiful prose), just the ability to comprehend the information, and just
barely. The human brain is the most powerful translator in existence, we
just have to meet said brain halfway. We may see a meta language in our
lifetimes but not within the next decade. The current best meta language is
a set of fuzzy translations that are a function of the size of the source
and target language corpuses.
I propose a cheap cellphone-sized device (OWPP) whose only purpose is to
read Wikipedia. The WMF teams up with Google to obtain CC-BY-SA translations
from all supported source languages to all supported target languages. The
device holds just one copy of all of the Wikipedia's in a single target
The technical specifications of such a device allow for it to be extremely
Let's let those of us fortunate enough to have access to the Internet
write an encyclopedia and give it to those who are not,
sooner rather than later.
On Sat, May 30, 2009 at 9:33 PM, Brian <Brian.Mingus(a)colorado.edu> wrote:
> How does Google Wave help the WMF achieve its goals?
Not sure, it doesn't really exist yet. I'm sure there will be numerous ways
in which it can do it, though.
Wikipedia has already become a dominant information source for the 1.5
> billion people with Internet access thanks to Google.
How does being a dominant information source for people help the WMF achieve
We need to focus on getting Wikipedia to the 5.2 billion people who can't
> access it.
Indeed. What languages do these 5.2 billion people speak? Are they
connected to the Internet? If not, what's stopping them? Do they have a
telephone, a computer, electricity, television, running water? If not, what
is stopping them from being able to get these things? Are the problems
things that are well geared toward the expertise of the WMF, or are we
better off letting other non-profits with more specialized expertise fix
Personally, I didn't even know the number was 5.2 billion. Should I do this
further research myself, or can someone answer these questions for me?
Information concerning the election rules, candidacy, and suffrage/
voting requirements for the 2009 election to the Board of Trustees is
now posted at http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Board_elections/2009/en.
I have copied it below, but for the wiki-links to work, you will - of
course - need to be on meta.
For the election committee,
The 2009 elections to the Board of Trustees will be held between
August 3rd and August 10th 2009. Members of the Wikimedia community
have the opportunity to elect one candidate to a two-year term which
will expire in 2011. The Board of Trustees is the ultimate governing
authority of the Wikimedia Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
organization registered in the United States. The Wikimedia Foundation
manages many diverse projects such as Wikipedia and Commons.
The elections will be held securely on servers belonging to an
independent third party (to be confirmed). Votes are secret and are
only visible to the select few persons who audit and tally the
election. Voters will submit ranked preferences by numbering
candidates. The votes will be tallied using the Schulze methodto rank
candidates based on the number of voters who prefer that candidate
over other candidates.
The Election Committee intends to announce the results on or before
August 12th. Detailed results will be available. All times on this
page are 00:00 (midnight) UTC.
1 Information for voters
1.2 How to vote
2 Information for candidates
2.1 Responsibilities as member of the Board
2.2 Prerequisites to candidacy
2.3 How to submit your candidacy
3.1 Time line
Information for voters
You may vote from any one registered account you own on a Wikimedia
wiki (you may only vote once, regardless of how many accounts you
own). To qualify, this one account must:
not be blocked; and
not be a bot; and
have made at least 600 edits before 01 June 2009 across across
Wikimedia wikis (edits on several wikis can be combined if your
accounts are unified into a global account); and
have made at least 50 edits between 01 January and 1 July 2009.
Special exceptions: the following may vote regardless of the above
Wikimedia server administrators with shell access;
paid staff of the Wikimedia Foundation who started working at the
office before 01 March 2009;
current or former members of the Board of Trustees.
How to vote
If you are eligible to vote:
Read the candidate presentations and decide which candidates you will
Go to the wiki page "Special:Securepoll" on one wiki you qualify to
vote from. For example, if you are most active on the wiki
meta.wikimedia.org/, go to meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Securepoll.
Follow the instructions on that page.
Information for candidates
A detailed description of the responsibilities of a member of the
Board can be found at http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_member.
Responsibilities as member of the Board
Being a Board member of a small organization like the Wikimedia
Foundation, which faces immense challenges, can be time-consuming. The
position is voluntary and unpaid. While board members are not expected
to bring personal money to the organisation, they are welcome to help
Board members are expected to attend at least 3–4 meetings per year in
person, attend Wikimania (our annual conference), and attend other
scheduled online meetings and votes. The Board communicates
intensively via e-mail, wiki, and IRC. Individual trustees sometimes
participate in strategic meetings with other organizations and
companies, relaying results back to Board and staff.
Individual board members are expected to be involved in certain
activities (such as fundraising, Wikimania, or auditing) and to help
draft policies, charters and resolutions on such topics.
Because Board members owe duties by virtue of their position,
candidates who currently hold paid positions with the Wikimedia
Foundation must resign from those position before they can be
appointed to the Board of Trustees. This is to avoid potential
conflicts of interests.
Prerequisites to candidacy
To be eligible as a candidate, you must:
have made at least 600 edits before 01 March 2009 on any one
registered account (edits on several wikis can be combined if your
accounts are unified into a global account); and
have made at least 50 edits between 01 January and 01 July 2009; and
publicly disclose your real name in your candidate presentation
(because the identities of Board members are a matter of public
record, it is not possible to hold a position on the Board of Trustees
anonymously or under a pseudonym); and
be at least 18 years old and of legal age in your home country.
Special exceptions: current members of the Board of Trustees may be
candidates regardless of the above requirements.
How to submit your candidacy
If you are eligible, you can submit your candidacy by doing the
Write a brief summary of no more than 1200 characters stating what you
would do if you were elected to the Board of Trustees, your relevant
opinions and experience, and anything else you think is relevant. You
may not use your candidate summary to link to lists of endorsements or
other platform pages, and may not run on a slate with other candidates.
Submit your summary between 00:00, 06 July 2009 (UTC) and 23:59, 20
July 2009 (UTC). After July 20, it cannot be changed except for minor
corrections or translation. Any additions submitted after this
deadline will be time-stamped and presented separately from the
original summary, and will only be presented to voters if they get
translated into all of the same languages as the original summary.
Submit proof of your identity to Cary Bass (Volunteer Coordinator)
before 20 July 2009. You will be privately contacted by a member of
the Election Committee with further information about meeting this
requirement when you list yourself as a candidate.
Candidates who fail to comply with the above requirements and
deadlines will be disqualified.
01–30 June 2009: primary translation phase; subcommittee actively
coordinates and promotes translation.
06–20 July 2009: candidate submissions.
20 July 2009: deadline to send proof of identity (late or missing
submissions will be disqualified).
03–10 August 2009: elections.
10–12 August 2009: vote-checking.
12 August 2009: publication of results.
To ensure that a representative cross-section of the Wikimedia
community takes part in this election, it is important to translate
election notices and candidate statements into as many languages as
possible. To help translate, please see the translation page.